I can't think of a better way to start 2013 than being with a warm and kind family at a table heaped with delicious food. How lucky am I? I was warned in advance that the New Year's Day feast, known only as The Boil, would involve copious amounts of meat— but I never imagined this:
The Portuguese don't mess around with food. Nor with portions, as you can see from the above photographs. Our dear hostess, with a little mischievous grin, generously piled my plate high, in spite of my previous moaning about the growing pudginess of my belly. Suddenly I felt like I was in Lebanon, with my aunties lovingly creating architectural masterpieces upon my plate. Food that comes from the heart is the most divine— and goodness, do you feel cared for with each spoonful.
The Boil, includes a variety of Portuguese sausages including chouriço de sangue, and the tasty but deadly farinheira. Then there's the boiled pork, cured pork, pig ears, rice cooked in pork fat, the beef, beans, boiled potatoes, cabbage and carrots. Bread. Wine. Lots of wine.
But wait— there's more! Following the main part of the meal (oh and I forgot to mention the shrimp and presunto appetizers): roasted chestnuts, fruit (to cut the fat of the meat), coffee, and ginjinha. I was deliriously happy and full, and feared this meant I would be a lousy co-pilot on our road trip to the interior, which was to begin shortly.
Sleep was descending heavily...